On the eve of the 150th Open, Callaway has revealed a very special and unique staff bag, designed by a young student from St Andrews, that will be used by its 34 players at this week’s tournament.
Budding artists from two St Andrews schools – Madras College and St Leonards – were commissioned by Callaway and St Andrews Links to design a St Andrews inspired golf bag, and 17-year-old Iona Turner had her winning design chosen by Callaway executives and a team of staff professionals, from a shortlist of 10.
The Tour pro judging panel included Danny Willett, the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links champion, and Min Woo Lee, who played The Old Course in reverse last year to commemorate the 200th birthday of four-time Open winner, Old Tom Morris.
As an extension of the design challenge, larger than life sculptures of the final 10, celebrating the creative excellence of pupils from each school, have been positioned in various locations around St Andrews running up to The Open.
These specially-commissioned sculptures formed a new attraction, The Big Bag Trail, a route from which locals and visitors can explore the town. It remains open until Sunday 17th July.
Iona’s winning design takes inspiration from many of St Andrews’ iconic and recognisable landmarks, including the famous Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of The Old Course, the colourful houses by the harbour, the historic cathedral (where Old Tom Morris is buried), and the town’s beautiful seafront location.
After being selected as the winning artist, Iona said: “I’m thrilled that my artwork was chosen. It has been a fantastic experience to be involved in this design project with my fellow students. It will be a little bit surreal seeing my bag alongside some of the world’s best golfers, but I can’t wait.”
Neil Howie, president and managing director, Callaway EMEA, added: “We have traditionally created limited edition Tour Bags for the Majors, both mens and womens, and always take inspiration from the region in which the event is staged. While keeping to the traditions of creating a bespoke Tour Bag, we recognised the opportunity to do something different in this special year for The Open.
“To engage the local community in this way and to go to local students and do something like this has been truly unique. What is brilliant is that it is just so visible, and to think that Iona has the potential to see one of our Staff Professionals in contention, with her bag visible to so many people, is just phenomenal.”
Neil Coulson, chief executive of St Andrews Links, concluded: “Huge congratulations to Iona on behalf of all of us at St Andrews Links on her spectacular and colourful winning design for the Callaway 2022 July Major Bag. I’m sure it’s a proud moment for her and her family and it’ll be special for her to see the bag in action.
“The public’s response to The Big Bag Trail has been incredible and allowed us to engage with local schools and the St Andrews community ahead of what will be a truly memorable Open at the Home of Golf.”
Following the conclusion of The Open, the 10 larger-than-life sculptures from The Big Bag Trail will be auctioned at a special evening event at the Tom Morris Bar & Grill in the St Andrews Links Clubhouse on July 19, with all proceeds going to CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland) and Scottish Sports Futures (Changing Lives Through Sport).
This special auction, that will celebrate the community achievements of the bag design competition and The Big Bag Trail, is also accessible to the public, via bidder registration, from a virtual link HERE.
The auction will be chaired by television personality and auctioneer, Charles Hanson.